So yesterday I saw my first ever virtual reality movie, (if you don’t count the six minutes of the dinosaur movie my mum took me to when I was six. It was so realistic and I ran out screaming… ) and it was very strange.
Sydney Film Festival is underway at the moment with lots of weird and wonderful short films to see, including a whole virtual reality section. Included in this virtual reality section is Miyubi, the first feature length virtual reality movie to hit the big screen.
It’s 1982 and Dad is finally home from another Japanese business trip and he brings you as a present.
You’re put in the mind of a Japanese domestic robot, and boy is it strange. Everyone in the family loves you (expect Grandpa), until he realises that you both have more in common than he initially thinks.
Virtual reality has come a long way and really it’s quite realistic. I could almost feel it when the characters around me touched my virtual body.
When my virtual life was threatened by a baseball bat, I shrunk in my seat, hoping not to be hit in the face, and when I turned my head to see where a voice was coming from, I jumped when I realised it was right next to my face.
The film did a fantastic job of placing you right in the centre of the family dynamics.
The film has all the features of a classic 1980s scene (according to my mum, who came with me), with electronic knives, cassette players and puffy sleeve dresses. It was like I had been transported in time, like a realistic version of Back to the Future.
In terms of virtual reality, I don’t know if I would want to watch movies in virtual reality all the time.
It was hard to focus the headset, and it freaked me out, being totally transported into another room, but without senses like touch, smell and taste that you get in real life.
It was a cool thing to experience, but I’m not sure if it will ever replace regular movies. I’ve been wrong before though!!